De Quervain tendonitis 3.86/5 (7)

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The Quervain's tendinitis
The tendonitis of the Quervain causes severe pain at the wrist when the thumb is stretched. Illustration: Pxhere CC0

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The Quervains tendonitis causes pain in the stretches of the thumb near the wrist. The disease is most commonly seen among adult women and congestion is the most common cause. De Quervain's tendonitis is thus not a symptom of joint disease, connective tissue disorders, Vasculitis or other underlying disease.

Disease Cause

This tendonitis is triggered by overload over time, for example in a stressful profession or in sports (golf, tennis). The condition can also occur 1-2 months after birth, related to the care of the child. The inflamed tendons are abductor pollicis longus og extensor pollicis brevis.


With movement, strain and pressure, stabbing pain is triggered over the thumb and wrist corresponding to two of the tendons of the thumb. Typically, the disease will trigger pain when one wants to unscrew the lid of a glass. The pain may radiate to the forearm. The symptoms may make the hand unusable.


Medical history and typical pain along the tendons during examination. By Finkelstein's test stretches the affected tendons and triggers pain.

Similar conditions (differential diagnoses)

  • Osteoarthritis in the thumb's CMC-1 joints
    • Pain in the joint
  • Arthritis
  • Ganglion
    • Not painful, round swelling
  • Nerve damage


De Quervain's tendonitis is treated with relief. There are various support rails (orthoses) that can be very helpful for a few weeks. Ibux gel or Orudis gel can be applied to the skin over the pain. For symptoms, light painkillers (paracetamol, NSAIDs) can also be used. Some people benefit from cortisone injection. Surgery is rarely necessary (reference: Huissede BMA, 2014).


This tendonitis is not a symptom of any other underlying disease. However, the condition lasts many weeks or months despite treatment


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